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Whatever Became Of Western Civilization?

By Paul Craig Roberts

October 14, 2013 "Information Clearing House - Not that long ago government and free market proponents were at sword’s point, but no more. With little left in the private sector to rip off, the financial gangsters have turned to the public sector and put to work for them the free market economists’ advocacy of privatization. Governments themselves became part of the conspiracy once the politicians realized that looting public assets was an efficient way to reward their private benefactors.

We can see the entire picture in the David Cameron government’s privatization of the British Royal Mail. The prime minister has described the looting as “popular capitalism” even though the British public overwhelmingly opposes turning over the mail service to a profit-making enterprise.

The British government’s pursuit of policies opposed by the public shows the absence in Britain of the very democracy that British prime ministers, such as Blair and Cameron, are so anxious to help Washington spread with invasions, cluster bombs, and depleted uranium to Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Iran.

Here is how the Royal Mail is being privatized or, rather, looted.

First Cameron’s government, guided by the financial gangsters, undervalued the assets of the Royal Mail and assumed mail delivery charges below those that will be charged. This fictitious accounting allows public assets to be transferred to the politicians’ private benefactors at a price below their value.

For example, all of the Royal Mail’s real estate is being transferred to the new private owners for less than the value of the Royal Mail’s London real estate alone. Neil Clark reports that one Royal Mail London depot is worth about one billion British pounds; but the entire real estate assets of the Royal Mail--public property--is being transferred to the new private owners for about three-quarters of one billion British pounds. The deal was so loaded in favor of the private purchasers that the share price rose almost 40 percent on the first day of trading. (This might have been some sort of nominal trading as the deal possibly has not been finalized.)

According to reports, many of the mail carriers are going to lose their jobs, and the public, not the private purchasers, is stuck with the liability of the Royal Mail pension fund, which is about $55 billion dollars. So the private looters get the assets but not the liabilities.

The purchasers are the financial gangsters in whose behalf economic policy is run in the US, UK, and Europe, and, you guessed it, Goldman Sachs made $33.5 million “advising” Cameron on the sale.

Wall Street and the City of London, the two world financial centers so beloved and misrepresented by free market economists as financiers of investment and economic growth, are in fact legal, government supported, Mafia gangs that loot. Their profits come from looting.

We are seeing them at work in Greece, where the sanctity of financial profits requires public assets to be sold at bargain basement prices to private interests. The deal requires protected islands of the national heritage be turned over to real estate developers, and public assets such as water companies, ports, and the state lottery be sold at lucrative prices to private interests consisting of the private banks and their clients.

In Italy government indebtedness is forcing the sale to private investors of historic castles and villas and the Island of San Giacomo in one of Venice’s lagoons. These national treasures will be turned into hotels, restaurants, and resorts for the one percent.

Are the British Museum and the Smithsonian next to be privatized?

In America prisons are privatized despite the incentive this gives to produce inmates.
Public schools are being privatized in the form of “charter schools.” Charter schools are a scheme to eliminate public sector teachers unions, and to convert their pay into private profits by bringing in contract hires to teach for a few years before they are replaced by a new group of contract hires.

Western civilization, to the extent than any civilization remains, is confronted with a total collapse of economic and government morality. Looting and exploitation rule, and the presstitute media does its best to hide the fact.

Western civilization has been reduced to remnants--historical artifacts, picturesque villages in England and France, German efficiency, joie de vivre and good food in France and Italy, and architectural masterpieces and classical music created before our lifetime.

In addition to Wall Street’s mechanisms for looting, America contributes technology for putting the entire world under constant surveillance, exploiting the information for economic benefit and for silencing dissenters.

Western civilization has lost its attractiveness. As nothing remains but a shadow of its former self, it will not be missed as it disappears into a bottomless pit of corruption.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

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Comments (34)
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kootcoot · 3 weeks ago
"Western civilization has lost its attractiveness"

Wasn't it Gandhi who said Western Civilization would be a good idea?

Reply4 replies · active 2 weeks ago

Flummoxed · 3 weeks ago
the UK is not part of the EU but they seem to follow their lead on privatization. that is an ugly word and an even uglier reality, and so many of the souless in Congress want it here too.

Making the US postal system pay for 75 years of health care in advance is insane. However, if they had to do that to any entity, wouldn't it be better to do that to the military?

Maybe them, the pentagon would think about who was paying befoer they opened even more bases around the world. Although, if they even had a budget, that would make a difference.

I think that if this happpens to the US Postal System, a lot of small businesses will go under. Direct mail helps a lot of those people.

What will probably happen is that mail will return to its beginnings where the mail was free to send but the person to receive it had to pay.

The economy is so bad for so many that I wonder why many companies think that its business as usual...the computer makers were surprised when sales were down...really? Wow, no one has a job, or hours are cut or college grads are serving at Mickey Ds

After everything has been privatized , there will be nothing for most of the people. I suppose then that they will have to turn on each other. Well, that can't happen soon enough. : )

Reply1 reply · active 2 weeks ago

al92653 · 3 weeks ago
Are the British Museum and the Smithsonian next to be privatized?

& why not? Hey, a buck is a buck!

Reply2 replies · active 2 weeks ago

anne frank · 2 weeks ago
As always, Roberts merely states the obvious. Yet somehow the totally controlled media have kept the idiot masses from figuring it out. Raping the world to make the rest of us somnambulistic slaves to the one percent is not an accident or natural phenomenon. The corruption is the work of human intentions. Roberts calls the "Mafia gangs" by their proper name.

Reply1 reply · active 2 weeks ago

DaveR · 2 weeks ago
As usual, PCR makes sense. It ties-in with the decline and crash of Empire-USA, see this link;


Ralph_ · 2 weeks ago
It was never very attractive but now its anUS is entirely exposed and the sight of the British testicles hanging down almost makes one want to wretch. Global capitalism goose stepping off a cliff.


Dr. Nomas Kakita · 2 weeks ago
Those of us who grew up in better times knew that sooner or later the "Happy Days" would be over. The good news is that we can now become part of the world community and use our knowledge, creativity and hard work to make the world a great place to live for us and future generations.


Dr. Nomas Kakita · 2 weeks ago
Those of us who grew up in better times knew that sooner or later the "Happy Days" would be over. The good news is that we can now become part of the world community and use our knowledge, creativity and hard work to make the world a great place to live for us and future generations.


DrS · 2 weeks ago
Did any good ideas come out of Western civilization?

Brutality, torture, murder are not worth emulating.

Exploitation and plunder for profit leaves many impoverished.

It is clear that the 1% will destroy the planet as greed, power, and profit REIGN SUPREME.


pedro · 2 weeks ago
USAmerica is a four hundred year old oak tree that fell down in my yard about ten years ago.

USAmerica is a train ride from Atlanta to NYC in 1991. Kudzu from Atlanta to D.C. Collapsing brick warehouses from D.C. to NYC.

USAmerica is a classroom full of ninth graders that do not understand why water goes downhill, and where some students do not know that water flows downhill.

USAmerica is a place where I see babies in strollers playing video games on mom's smart phone.

USAmerica is a place where people are afraid of the metric system of weights and measure. USAmerica shares this paranoid delusion with Liberia in West Africa, and no other country.

USAmerica, the country of my birth, gutted, eviscerated, souless, so that people with too much money, could get more money.

USAmerica where we sell historical WPA library and post office buildings to corporations.

USAmerica where prisons are corporate profit centers.

USAmerica: Get a map of your country drawn in pencil. Erase all of the arbitrary lines, and start over. The political map is just too weird. The East Coast has too many states. The West Coast has just three states. This is so lopsided as to be absurd.

USAmerica, please take a good long look at what you have become! I can't hardly buy anything you have made, be that a pair of shoes, or a kitchen cabinet. Tough blue jeans.

USAmerica, you have lost your way. You have lost your soul, and your school system. Certain states do not have a population of a million people! California has 37 million people, and you try to tell us that this is a democracy.

USAmerica: Wake up and get it right. Erace the map, and start over. Look at a map. Get rid of oranized crime, and the corporate stealing of our heritage.

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